New Orleans Square was not one of the original lands in Disneyland, but its conceptualization began almost immediately after Opening Day in 1955. Imagineers envisioned an old timey square for park guests to relax in, with restaurants, shops, and waterfront views of the Rivers of America, and in 1966, New Orleans Square was born! Inspired by 18th century New Orleans, the land is the first in Disneyland to feature more dining and shopping than rides or attractions. The Mayor of New Orleans was present for the dedication ceremony, and Walt Disney made his last public appearance in the park to open the Square.
New Orleans Square is the only land in Disneyland without a main entrance. Whether guests arrive from Critter Country, Adventureland, or Frontierland, they are immediately welcomed with jazz music, beautiful facades, and the smell of southern food. Guests walking along the waterfront will see the bridge leading to Pirates of the Caribbean, diners enjoying the cafes and restaurants, iron gates and flowerbox windows, the secret entrance to Club 33, and the Haunted Mansion looming in the distance. During Halloween, New Orleans Square is all the more spooky (and fun!), with jack-o-lanterns, cobwebs, and eerie skeletons embedded in the land’s décor.
CHARACTERS YOU MAY ENCOUNTER
- Other than themed live bands, none (except rare appearances from Jack Skellington and Sally during Halloween)
The organ found in the Haunted Mansion is the very organ used in the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
The majority of the funding for New Orleans Square came from the 1964 classic Mary Poppins.
Walt added antique shops to New Orleans Square to pay tribute to his wife, Lillian, who was an avid collector.
New Orleans Square is my absolute favorite land in Disneyland. It’s beautiful, always smells delicious, and has awesome rides! There’s no bad time to visit New Orleans Square, although it can be difficult to get a table at any of the restaurants during peak meal times.
During showings of Fantasmic! in Frontierland, traffic in New Orleans Square gets fairly heavy. The good news is that everyone stakes out a spot for the show, so the ride lines decrease dramatically. Don’t be intimidated by the swarms of people during shows, because this is a great time to visit the Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean.
New Orleans Square is designed to be a relaxing and slow-paced land. Many park guests race through to hop on the Haunted Mansion between fast-pass return times, and miss all of what this land has to offer. When you want a break from walking or need an afternoon bite to eat, New Orleans Square is the place to be. Take some time to wander around all the small alleys, explore a few shops, or take a seat overlooking the water. No matter when you make your way to New Orleans Square, you are in for a treat. This completely underrated land is full of Disney magic, and has some of the better food in the park.